Ink cartridges and the eco friendly attitude

For some months I have been trying to go green and become more eco friendly. The way we use our humble home printer can reduce the amount of waste we generate.


Becoming a little more eco-friendly is not hard; it is a process which takes several steps:

  • Be eco aware. Learn about how you can contribute to help the environment
  • Make small changes. Instead of buying poor quality products and throw them after a while try to get good quality ones and keep them for as long as possible.

For example if you have a Canon printer buy only genuine canon ink cartridges because they are of a better quality and last longer. Also genuine cartridges are made by the same company who made the printer and are 100% compatible with the printer. This is very important for the environment and your pocket because using the wrong cartridges can damage the printer head and you will be forced to get a new printer.

A good tip for increasing the printer and cartridges’ lives – especially colour ink cartridges which are used less often; from time to time print a page with a few line of text using the black, red, yellow and blue. This will prevent the ink from drying and you will be able to use the cartridges for a longer periodof time

With empty cartridges you have 3 options:

  • You can refill them. Be aware because most manufacturers do not recommend refilling the cartridges
  • You can donate them. Look for a eco centre which collects cartridges close to you
  • You can recycle them

I usually donate my cartridges as it raises money for a good cause..

One final tip if you are buying a new printer: Look for the most eco friendly ones. The less power-hungry a printer is, the better.

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  1. Hi there, some good tips here; However there are some aspects of the eco argument here which I don’t really agree with.

    For example, Some of the compatible inkjet cartridges hold MORE ink than the original cartridges, therefore lasting longer than the originals. Furthermore, Quality can be and is often as good in real usage as if you were using the originals, although this is not an argument for eco-friendliness, as the the quality is never so bad as to even notice any difference nowadays, IMHO. (unless you get a duff cartridge, quality can vary with compatible cartridge manufacturers). The clogging of inkheads has never been a problem for me in over 10 years experience across a number of printers. (I used to work in a school using where we were using approx 30 compatable inkjet cartridges at any one time.) Indeed, we found that you must normally use your printer every couple of weeks to stop the cartridge drying out to some extent, but thats a different point.

    Perhaps to go more eco-friendly in printing you might also consider the following:

    1. if you are not using colour printing or very occasionally, get a mono laser printer, it works out as being much cheaper per toner cartridge, lasts a lot longer, although the cartridge is a lot bigger of course.

    2. Use duplex printing where available to save paper.

    3. Most printers have an eco-setting, whereby you can print more from the same cartridge, with slight loss of quality. (again, usually cant even notice, unless you have a big magnifying glass and too much time on your hands :))

    4. Always check the page with the print preview facility before printing it.

    5. Only print when you need to. alternatives are e-mail, online storage with/without sharing, etc…

    This is my two pennies worth,



  2. Buying eco-friendly cartridges you are helping conserve the environment. You are able to help people understand that even something as small as an remanufactured inkjet cartridge really can make a difference.

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